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PETALING JAYA: Amid claims that the Health Ministry is bulldozing a new anti-tobacco Act, some quarters raised concerns about the likelihood of a digital tracking system that may be introduced as part of the new law.
Sources told StarBiz that there are efforts underway by two companies – Green Packet Bhd and Privasia Technology Bhd – to get the Health Ministry’s approval for the new system.
The system seeks to complement the “Generational End Game” plan to ban the use, possession and sale of cigarettes and vape products for those born after 2007. It also aims to address the long-standing issue of rampant illicit cigarettes in Malaysia.
A person with information on the matter said the project, if approved, is likely to be awarded on a direct negotiation basis and not open tender.
“This tracking system idea will not be effective in fighting illicit cigarettes and will only add on to the cost that will eventually be passed on to consumers.
“We already have a tax stamp on cigarette boxes for many years. It is also digitally-enabled, but it never managed to address the illicit cigarette issue.
“How will this new idea be any different than the tax stamp?”,
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Bernama had reported that the Health Ministry is considering several mechanisms for the sale of all types of tobacco products, including the use of QR code.
Following this, during the Dewan Rakyat sitting on Monday, Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen had questioned whether a tracking system would be introduced and what mechanism would be adopted for the system.
Based on the document sighted by StarBiz, a consortium of Green Packet, Privasia and France-based IN Groupe has proposed an end-to-end system called Tobacco Track and Trace (TTT).
Under the TTT system, a security label will be introduced for tobacco products. The label is said to contain “multi-level of security with ultra-thin definition image enabling three levels of authentication.”
“There isn’t any security label applied on tobacco products.
“It is critical for the Health Ministry to introduce the latest and most advanced holographic technologies from well-established security printer as security labels on top of tobacco products,” according to the document presented to the ministry.
Via the TTT system, the consortium noted that tobacco products can be securely distributed from the factory to the final consumers.
“Once the end-to-end TTT system ecosystem is ready, the migration to digital stamps can be done easily.